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I thought it strange that in the Rosh Hashanah prayers G-d considers Ephraim to be His favorite son...

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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1. Ephraim represents the Ten Tribes who were exiled by the king of Assyria, because Jeroboam, the first king of the Ten Tribes was from the tribe of Ephraim (Kings I 11:26).

Jeremiah is saying (Jeremiah 31:19) that although Ephraim is exiled (this prophecy was said before Judah was exiled by Babylon), he still remains in G-d's favor -- comparable to an only son.*

*See also Midrash Rabbah, Vayikra 2:3.

TAGS: Ephraim, efraim

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Midrash
(Pl. Midrashim). Non-legal material of anecdotal or allegorical nature, designed either to clarify historical material, or to teach a moral point. The Midrashim were compiled by the sages who authored the Mishna and Talmud (200 BCE-500 CE).
Judah
1. The fourth son of Jacob and Leah. He was blessed by Jacob to be the leader of the tribes. Consequently, the Davidic royal dynasty is from the tribe of Judah. 2. The southern part of Israel which was occupied by the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and always remained under the reign of the kings from the tribe of Judah.
Jeremiah
1. Jewish prophet who lived in the 5th century BCE. 2. One of the 24 books of the Bible, containing the prophecies of Jeremiah. The book is replete with prophecies concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.